Zoe's home from the hospital.
Honestly, I was deep deep in worrying and planning and stress and feeling a lot of pressure as we tried to get things ready for Zoe and Jen's trip home. They'd never been to this home, not with us in it.
But I met an old friend at Walmart, someone I hadn't seen in years and years. As we caught up, I started to tell him about my life, about Zoe, about the big kids and about moving. About what it's like to never consider that your daughter will be with you at Christmas, let alone home from heart surgery.
As I was talking, I thought of what I said each time I saw her - as she was being carried away by the nurse preoperatively, purple, struggling to breathe...after surgery, being wheeled down the hall...as she was extubated and when she almost died that Sunday...
Come back to me, Zoe. I wasn't begging her. I was telling her sternly. Like when you tell your kid to come inside. Now. Or when you tell your kid to go out there and play hard. You come back to me.
So much just gnawing at me. As my daughter exhibits what she thinks of doctors who say her condition is incompatible with life, my father fights a similar battle now 7 years since he was diagnosed with cancer.
To see someone 9 months and 76 years old both fighting with the same abandon and the same stakes is stunning. Both struggle with some rudimentary functions we need to live. They are both teaching me so much about life.
I used to think life was a race. Now I believe it's a brawl. An all-out, grab-whatever-you-can-and-fight brawl against this sinful, broken place.
I said this almost 9 months (exactly) ago. Go home and hug your kid. And if you don't have a kid, go home and hug your dad. And tell them you love them and thank God they are there, in your arms.
And I pray that everyone, everywhere takes a minute to give thanks for strength in our fight.